Eating out can be difficult on any diet, and the keto diet is no different. It can be challenging to adhere to a low-carb, high-fat diet when dining out because many restaurants offer options that are high in carbs and low in fat. However, you can still enjoy a meal out while adhering to your keto goals with a little bit of planning and preparation.
When dining out, here are some suggestions for sticking to the keto diet:
Research the eatery beforehand
Prior to going out to an eatery, give yourself some time to explore the menu and find keto-accommodating choices. It's easier to plan ahead when many restaurants offer their menus online. Search for dishes that are high in protein and fats, like meats and fish, mixed greens with avocado or nuts, and vegetable dishes cooked in healthy oils like olive oil or coconut oil. Looking at their menu online also helps to rule-out restaurants that don’t serve anything that is healthy and filling for you while on a diet. Try browsing a few online menus to help you find something that not only helps you maintain your diet, but leaves you excited for your meal.
Tell the server your preferences
To make a dish more keto-friendly, don't be afraid to ask for changes. Request vegetables in place of potatoes or rice, or that your salad be prepared without croutons or sugary dressings, for instance. Don't be afraid to ask, as many restaurants are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions.
Choose low-carb options
Some cuisines, like Mexican and Italian, can be difficult for keto dieters because they often contain a lot of carbs, like pasta and tortillas. However, if you know what to look for, low-carb options are frequently available. For instance, at a Mexican restaurant, look for fajitas instead of a burrito or a salad with grilled chicken and avocado, instead of tortillas. At an Italian restaurant, look for more pasta-free dishes and go with a meat or seafood dish and a side of vegetables.
Watch for hidden carbs & sugars
Keep an eye out for buried carbs in dishes like sauces, marinades, and dressings. There may be added sugars or starches in many of these, which can quickly add up to a lot of carbs. Instead, request sauces and dressings on the side or opt for low-carb options like salsa, olive oil and vinegar, or a sugar-free ranch.
Choose your beverage carefully
Avoid soda, juice, and other alcoholic beverages because they tend to have high sugar and carb content. As a matter of fact, most sodas contain no fats or proteins, meaning that all of their carbs come from straight sugar. Instead, drink water or unsweetened beverages like black coffee or iced tea without sugar.
You can make the most of dining out while still adhering to your keto diet by doing some research ahead of time, modifying dishes, and being aware of hidden carb sources. We know you can do it, and promise that you can still find a wealth of flavor and satisfaction from dishes that adhere to keto guidelines.